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    Monday, May 28, 2007

    Musical masterpieces

    Last week, I hung out with my friend Chris and we were having fun playing music that we loved in college. We chatted about more recent bands too. Chris mentioned that the first Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album was a masterpiece in his eyes. And that got me thinking. What albums do I consider a masterpiece?

    To me, a masterpiece would have to be an album that transcends being merely a set of really great songs. It has to have that unique combination of: 1) having a stunning collection of songs, 2) being likely ahead of its time, and 3) being possibly a genre-defining release. But I'm not sure if this definition quite cuts it. There's something more. The album can't be simply a personal favorite. It should be identified by others for its signficance. In order to receive the highest of high accolades and be called a "masterpiece," I think it needs to be validated by others too.

    I, along with others, consider these to be masterpieces:

    Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
    My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
    Tom Waits: Rain Dogs
    Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
    John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
    DJ Shadow: Entroducing
    Marvin Gaye: What's Going On
    Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
    Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
    Can: Tago Mago

    Man, alive. What a weird list. So would these be my desert island discs? Hmm, well it wouldn't be a terrible start.